POTSDAM, N.Y.- The SUNY Potsdam men's soccer team (5-2-1, 0-1 SUNYAC) opened SUNYAC play against No. 21 SUNY Plattsburgh (8-1, 1-0 SUNYAC) Saturday afternoon at Maxcy Turf. The Cardinals shutout the Bears 2-0 with a goal from senior forward Alexis Archilla (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) and junior midfielder Nicholas Laurent (New City, N.Y./Clarkstown South).
Plattsburgh controlled most of the offensive play in the first half, while Potsdam's defense was quite busy in their own zone. The Cardinals got their first tally on the board off a corner kick at 16:52. Junior midfielder Ian Spear (Peru, N.Y./Peru) sent a ball inside the box, where freshman defender Joe Gula (New Market, Md./Oakdale) headed it toward the goal and Archilla picked it up and netted home for the 1-0 lead. Potsdam gained a little momentum after the goal with their own corner kick at 17:44. Sophomore midfielder Isaac Sanabria (Bedford, N.Y./Fox Lane) sent a cross in front of the goal, but junior defender Matthew Wagner's (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville) header was saved by Cardinal junior goalie Andrew LaClaustra (Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) to hold their lead.
At the 28:36 minute mark, Plattsburgh doubled their score after a Cardinal favored deflection when Bear freshman goalie Jake Mitchell (Brockport, N.Y./Brockport) made the save on Archilla shot. The ball bounced off of Mitchell's hands and Laurent made the most of the opportunity. Emotions started to run high on each side of the ball with both teams picking up multiple fouls and a Potsdam yellow card to close out the first half of play with Plattsburgh leading 2-0.
The Bears' offense seemed to find a different rhythm in the start of the second half. Potsdam had two great scoring opportunities, but were unable to get a ball past LaClaustra between the pipes. More fouls and yellow cards were exchanged, but the score remained 2-0 Plattsburgh when the clock ticked to zero.
Mitchell finished with three stops, while LaClaustra grabbed four.
The Cardinals held the edge in shots 11-8 and 4-2 in corner kicks.
Potsdam will hit the road next weekend when the Bears take on Cortland Friday at 3 p.m. and Oswego Saturday at 1 p.m.